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Amazon Instant Video Coming to the Apple TV (?)

I got an Apple TV for Christmas this year, and I'm loving it.Remember a couple months back when Amazon suddenly announced that they weren’t going to carry Apple TVs or Chromecasts (nor allow marketplace sellers to do so)?

Some reports blamed Amazon and assumed it was deleting competing hardware (unlikely given that Amazon continued to sell Roku) while others blamed Apple/Google, but many of us were scratching our heads because the story just didn’t add up.

And now we may have learned why. According to a new and as yet unconfirmed report, Amazon is developing an Amazon Instant Video app for Apple’s Apple TV.

MacRumors reports that "Amazon appears to have confirmed to engineer Dan Bostonweeks that it is developing a tvOS app for Prime Video that could launch before the end of 2015". Bostonweeks tweeted this image on Friday:

That is a very curious statement from Amazon (assuming this report is true) because as you recall  Amazon had said that they wouldn’t sell Apple TV or Chromecast hardware because those devices don’t work with Amazon’s video service.

If that is actually the real reason Amazon stopped carrying the Apple TV, then today’s news means that Amazon soon will be carrying the set top box again. On the other hand, if Amazon doesn’t start selling the Apple TV after the app is released then we’ll know that they weren’t completely honest, but were instead really trying to shut out the competition.

Which possibility is more likely, do you think?

image by tsmall


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fjtorres November 29, 2015 um 12:37 pm

Sounds like somebody somewhere got overruled.
Two points of context:

– Apple TV has landed with a thud, mostly through lack of apps and (surprisingly) usability issues. Diehard Apple fans are sticking with the older model.

– Amazon landed both HBO and CBS and are apparently going to add more CBS-like channels as well as their own over-the-top live streaming bundles ala Sling. Combined with the increasing traction among audiences and critics of Amazon’s exclusives and my money is on Apple blinking.

The whole thing was probably triggered by some (relatively) low-level manager dragging their feet on developer support for Amazon.

The converse, Amazon banning Apple TV to minimize competition is still a possibility but now that Amazon has added Alexa and its extensive voice-actuated home automation features to the Fire TV and Frire TV stick that becomes less plausible given the clearly predictable flak they took.

At this point in time Apple TV has clearly overpromised and underdelivered while Amazon has done some seriously impressive work in building up the cababilities of their Fire TV line. I wasn’t terribly impressed by the pricing of the STB at launch but the added features do justify the pricing and more by now. And if they really move in on Sling (which is already on the FireTV) the value proposition can only go higher.

Nate Hoffelder November 29, 2015 um 1:04 pm

If the Apple TV landed with a thud then how did Apple ship 25 million units?

fahirsch November 29, 2015 um 4:07 pm

Everything Apple does is DOA. That’s why people keep forecasting it’s death.
(Using Apple products since 1979.)

Nate Hoffelder November 29, 2015 um 4:30 pm

I think the Apple Watch will be the one exception to Apple’s generally good sales, but that is mainly because I expect the smartwatch craze to die out.

Glinda Harrison November 29, 2015 um 7:57 pm

Personally, I am not holding my breath that this will be available anytime soon, unfortunately. When people asked for an Android app for Amazon video, it was supposedly "in development" for a long, long time….

fjtorres November 29, 2015 um 10:53 pm

How many of those shipped units sold?
How many of the buyers are happy with what they got?
I’ve seen reviews from Apple fan media using words like "half-baked" and "wait until there are more apps".

I know it normally doesn’t take much to please the Apple faithful but when upgraders go back to the older model the product is hardly a resounding success.

fjtorres November 29, 2015 um 10:54 pm

Here, this is just one of several I’ve seen:

Tom Semple November 30, 2015 um 8:03 pm

While I think this report is 'plausible', and is certainly something Amazon should do, it is not any sort of official announcement.

Whereas, it is for certain that you cannot buy Chromecast or Apple TV on, and that reflects an official announcement, and as I recall that decision was linked to the fact that these devices don’t support Amazon Video. While that might lead one to think that Apple and Google are the problem, there is not any evidence that that’s the case, and to my knowledge Amazon has not actually ever claimed that Apple and Google were standing in the way of delivering such an app.

So I’m inclined to think we will not have an Amazon Video app for Apple TV any time soon, that Amazon has not changed their mind, and question of whether they’ll sell the new Apple TV is speculation on top of speculation.

The ’25 million sold' figure is I would assume total sales since the first Apple TV shipped in Jan 2007, an eight year period. That does not strike me as very impressive, it is probably front-loaded (so many better streaming options have become available since then, and until the new tvOS-powered Apple TV, not much reason to 'upgrade' to a new Apple TV) and does not indicate how many of those devices were still in use (as of January).

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